They say you have to crawl before you can take your first steps. That is definitely true in business. But you can move out of this baby phase a lot quicker if you use all the resources available to you.
If you find the right ones — and mix these lessons with all the requisite smarts, savvy, and stick-to-it-iveness that every entrepreneur needs — you can make sure that you grow beyond this early stage as quickly as possible. Soon, you will not just be talking the talk but really walking the walk.
But how do you know who to listen to and model your business philosophy after? Well, the saying “learn from the best” exists for a reason. You should definitely do your homework and look for inspiration wherever you can. And this extends beyond the business world but all walks of life.
That said, there are some fantastic resources that you simply cannot overlook as you formulate and develop your strategy for success. In particular, be sure to look to the following three groups of top-tier resources to learn invaluable insights and pick up the inspiration, motivation, and education that will propel your venture forward.
1: The Titans of Business
There is a reason that every billionaire has the same books on his or her shelf. They work! The pages contain well-worn adages that have helped the best of the best go from average working stiffs to world-famous business moguls. So while you must scour the earth far and wide for all types of knowledge, don’t skip over the classics. The unquestioned titans of the modern business thinking — including Dale Carnegie (“How to Win Friends and Influence People”), Jack Welch (“Winning”), Peter Drucker (“The Effective Executive”), and Sam Walton (“Made in America”) — have an incredible amount to offer anyone who wants to make money. If you can’t learn something from them, you may not have any business in business after all.
2. The New Innovators
While you must know the past if you hope to thrive in the future, you also don’t want to overlook the here and now. The last decade has ushered in a breakneck pace of development and innovation across all industries — not just technology. So you must be up to date with all the latest ideas and look to the people who are making waves today. Gary Vaynerchuk, for example, has become a model of branding and forward thinking for so many to follow. Sheryl Sandberg has taught millions of women — and men alike — how to find their place in the corporate world. And thinkers like Simon Sinek have shown leaders how to “Start With Why” and learn new ways to inspire a workforce. The lesson here is clear: Always stay on the lookout for the greatest emerging thoughts that can give you a leg up on the competition and help you see trends before they develop.
3. The Beacons of Success
There is undoubtedly a vast wealth of information to be found in books, Ted Talks, and the words of specific business icons. But there is also invaluable wisdom to be gained from the actual companies and organizations that are generating real revenue day in and day out. Be sure to look at and learn from the case studies of great enterprises that have rewritten the rules and mastered their business models. In such examples — like those of Nike, Uber, Amway, and Airbnb — you will see how the great execution of a collective group working together can turn the right idea into runaway success. You will understand why there is no such thing as a get-rich-quick scam or pyramid scheme (something Amway and Uber have both been accused of). You will realize that shortcuts to fame and fortune are but a mere mirage. Want to know what it really takes to get to the top? Look no further than how these thriving companies have created their empires.
4: Finding Your Lane
You will never be able to copy your way to success. Imitation only goes so far, and at some point you will need to find your own lane. But by leaning on those that have already walked this path, you will be that much farther ahead as you find your footing.
Be sure to respect and devour the knowledge available from the classic titans of business. Realize that modern thinkers and entrepreneurs are continuing to add immeasurable insights to our tome of collective knowledge. And don’t forget about the real-world work that is proven to get results by the top companies that truly know how to get things done.
By combining it all, you will have the best of all worlds. And that blend of classic knowledge, innovative wisdom, and practical application is just what you need to bring your venture to the next level.